Thursday, October 20, 2011
SPEAKER: Kayvon Fatahalian, CMU
Since the specification of OpenGL in 1992, real-time graphics has adopted a similar approach to programming parallel systems. Graphics programming abstractions have evolved over two decades to accommodate new algorithms and exotic machine capabilities, but the fundamental structure of these systems remains unchanged. Today, due to algorithmic advances and high peak GPU compute, a key collection of advanced graphics techniques (ray tracing, global illumination, etc.) will soon be feasible in interactive systems. Unfortunately, these techniques do not align well with the structure imposed by OpenGL graphics pipeline and there are strong calls to discard the abstractions of OpenGL.
This talk will describe a few recent attempts to address this fundamental systems challenge in modern real-time graphics: how do we cater to calls for broader application scope, while maintaining the ease-of-use and high levels of efficiency typical of OpenGL-based systems? Although this talk will be delivered in the context of real-time graphics, similar debates are, or inevitably will soon be, playing out in other compute-intensive application domains.